10 Best Places To Live Outside London (Commuter Towns London) | Distance, Affordability, And Places Of Interest

Do you desire to live in London but find it expensive or dislike the limited small housing options?

You might want to take a look at the best places to live outside London. Areas outside London are often referred to as commuter towns.

Commuter towns have been a popular choice for working professionals looking for a fast commute to London or families wanting to move to the suburbs for a proper work-life balance.

The best commuter towns in London are not just based on the short distance from London, but also the housing prices it offers for individuals or families.

Aside from the distance and affordability, some other factors to look into when you’re on a hunt for a new place to live are green spaces, recreational activities, and population, among other things.

With so many factors to consider, it will take a ton of research and time to gather information to decide on which place to live.

Not to worry, this article covers the top 10 best places to live outside London and has gathered all essential data, such as housing prices, population, average salary, and many more.

Further reading for UK places.

In no particular order, here are the best places to live outside London overall:

Area Population Population Density Total Area Average Property Price Average Rental Price Average Salary
Reading 161,780 4,040/km2 40.4 km2 £401,156 £1,237 £19,000
Redhill 18,163 3,209/km2 5.66 km2 £481,317  £1,134 £25,000
Sevenoaks 29,506 2,825/km2 11.49 km2 £600,000  £1,322 £33,608
St Albans 82,146 4,537/km2 18.1 km2 £635,291 £1,369 £34,477


18,484 2,352/km2 7.86 km2 £452,281 £1,026 £36,100
Cambridge 124,798 3,964/km2 40.7 km2 £534,577 £1,286  £35,927
Beckenham 46,844 3,543/km2 13.22 km2 £542,257  £1,250 £31,376


77,057 3,930/km2 20.76 km2 £595,575 $1,175 £35,026


100,793 1,600/km2 63.6 km2 £538,226  £1,250 £34,110
Peterborough 179,349 4,098/km2 43.77 km2  £234,829  £1,176 £34,458

1. Reading

Reading Town Hall UK


  • Population: 161,780
  • Population Density: 4,040/km2
  • Total Area: 40.4 km2
  • Average Property Price: £401,156
  • Average Rental Price:  £1,237
  • Average Salary: £19,000

Located in Berkshire in southeast England, Reading has a population of 161,780 in a total area of 40.4 km2.

It is approximately 44.6 miles from London and takes 1 hour and 13 minutes by car and approximately 23 to 25 minutes by train to reach.

You can expect to purchase a season ticket price of £4,736 and use the London terminus station at Paddington.

The racial demographic of the population in Reading is 74.8% White, 9.1% South Asian, 6.7 % Black, 3.9% Mixed, 4.5% Chinese, and several other races for the rest of the percentage.

It is one of the best places to live for its job opportunities, affordable housing, and excellent train access.

Moreover, it has a vibrant town centre, lively arts and cultural scenery, and fun music festivals like Reading Festival.

2. Redhill

Lloyds Bank Redhill


  • Population: 18,163
  • Population Density: 3,209/km2
  • Total Area: 5.66 km2
  • Average Property Price: £481,317
  • Average Rental Price: £1,134
  • Average Salary: £25,000

Redhill is located in the Shire county of Surrey in South East England.

It is approximately 21 miles from London, just a 57-minute drive or 26-minute train ride.

Redhill railway station is the train that connects the town to London.

However, you can also commute via Metrobus and London Buses. It is close to London Gatwick Airport, approximately seven miles away.

Redhill has several places for shopping such as Warwick Quadrant and street markets, as well as places for recreational activities like Redhill Memorial Park and Redhill and Reigate Golf Course.

3. Sevenoaks

Knole Sevenoaks in Kent March 2009


  • Population: 29,506
  • Population Density: 2,825/km2
  • Total Area: 11.49 km2
  • Average Property Price: £600,000
  • Average Rental Price: £1,322
  • Average Salary: £33,608

Sevenoaks is one of the popular choices located in Kent. About 29,506 people live in its  11.49 km2 area.

It is situated approximately 33.7 miles from London, averaging at least an hour to reach by car.

Some of the places to discover here are Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve – Kent Wildlife Trust, Bradbourne Lakes, and National Trust – Knole.

It also has several religious sites such as Saint Peter & St. Paul Church of England and the Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.

4. St Albans

St Albans


  • Population: 82,146
  • Population Density: 4,537/km2
  • Total Area: 18.1 km2
  • Average Property Price: £635,291
  • Average Rental Price:  £1,369
  • Average Salary: £34,477

St Albans sits on a total area of 18.1 km2 in Hertfordshire, England. More than 80,000 people live here due to its close proximity to London, which is about a 25-mile distance.

Taking the train is a faster option to reach London, averaging a commute time of only 21 minutes.

It is a cathedral city loved for its abundance of arts and cultural events and concerts.

You can find several historical places such as The Cathedral & Abbey Church of Saint Alban and London Gate.

Moreover, there are many places of interest like Verulamium Museum, The Pioneer Club, Lee Tyler Art, and Verulamium Park.

5. Staines-upon-Thames

StainesuponThames HeaderCarousel


  • Population: 18,484
  • Population Density: 2,352/km2
  • Total Area: 7.86 km2
  • Average Property Price: £452,281
  • Average Rental Price: £1,026
  • Average Salary: £36,100

Staines-upon-Thames is one of the closest places to live near London, with just a short distance of 26.1 miles away.

It usually takes 55 minutes to reach London by car and 39 minutes by train.

Aside from the Staines railway station managed by South Western Railway, Staines-upon-Thames can easily access London by bus, including buses operated by London United, Metroline, White Buses, and First in Berkshire.

The most notable historical churches that can be found here are Our Lady of the Rosary, St Mary’s Church, Staines Congregational Church, St Peter’s Church, Christ Church, and Staines Methodist Church.

If you are looking for places to relax and spend time with the family, the town has Lammas Recreation Ground, Laleham Park, and Fordbridge Park.

6. Cambridge



  • Population: 124,798
  • Population Density: 3,964/km2
  • Total Area: 40.7 km2
  • Average Property Price: £534,577
  • Average Rental Price: £1,286
  • Average Salary: £35,927

Cambridge is located in Cambridgeshire, England, with a total population of 124,798 and a total area of 40.7 km2.

It is a university and county town with an average property price of  £534,577 and an average rental price of £1,286.

The population is composed of several races, including 66% White British, 1.4% White Irish, 15% Other White, 1.7% Black British, 3.2% Mixed Race, 11% British Asian & Chinese, and 1.6% Other races.

The university city is popularly known for its University of Cambridge, a university founded in 1209.

It is a beautiful town that is approximately 61.1 miles from London and takes about 53 minutes to reach by train.

Some of the best places to visit here are Kettle’s Yard, The Centre for Computing History, The Fitzwilliam Museum, and The Round Church.

7. Beckenham

The Studio Beckenham


  • Population: 46,844
  • Population Density: 3,543/km2
  • Total Area: 13.22 km2
  • Average Property Price: £542,257
  • Average Rental Price: £1,250
  • Average Salary: £31,376

Nestled in the heart of Greater London, Beckenham is a town with a total population of 46,844 living in an area of 13.22 km2.

The average property price is approximately £542,257 and the lowest average rental price is about £1,250.

It is one of the ideal places to live for those working in London since it is only 10.4 miles away.

Travelling to London by car is only 41 minutes, whereas by train is 23 to 42 minutes.

Some of the stations available in Beckenham are Clock House station, Beckenham Junction station, New Beckenham station, Elmers End station, Ravensbourne station, and West Wickham station.

Visit a few of its popular places such as Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Beckenham Place Park Swimming lake by PTP Coaching, and Kelsey Park.

8. Guildford

Guildford Guildhall


  • Population: 77,057
  • Population Density: 3,930/km2
  • Total Area: 20.76 km2
  • Average Property Price: £595,575
  • Average Rental Price: $1,175
  • Average Salary: £35,026

Just 31.9 miles from London, Guildford is a town situated in Surrey in an area of  20.76 km2.

More than 77,000 people live in this town that is famous for its historic cobbled High Street.

You can expect an average house price to cost £595,575 and an average rent of about $1,175.

It is filled with a plethora of notable landmarks, such as Abbot’s Hospital, Dapdune Wharf, Guildford Institute, and Guildford Museum.

If you like to see historical buildings, visit the Guildford Cathedral, St Catherine’s Hill and Chapel, and Guildford Castle.

Parks for relaxation are also abundant such as Chantry Wood, Loseley Park, and Stoke Park.

9. Woking

Woking Surrey


  • Population: 100,793
  • Population Density: 1,600/km2
  • Total Area: 63.6 km2
  • Average Property Price: £538,226
  • Average Rental Price: £1,250
  • Average Salary: £34,110

Woking has a population of approximately 100,000, which is composed of  83.6% White, 11.6% Asian, 2.4% Mixed, and 1.4% Black.

Approximately 29 miles from London, it is a town situated in Surrey, England and is bordered by neighbouring towns, including Guildford, Knaphill, West Byfleet, and Send.

You can expect to buy a house at an average of £538,226 or rent a small flat for £1,250.

It has several places to appreciate art and culture such as public art like The Wanderer in Albion Square, The Lightbox, and Rhoda McGaw Theatre.

For historical sites and landmarks, you can check out Woking Palace and the nearby Newark Priory.

Moreover, it has several parks to appreciate nature, including White Rose Lane Nature Reserve, Horsell Common, and Brookwood Country Park.

10. Peterborough

Peterborough Montage


  • Population: 179,349
  • Population Density: 4,098/km2
  • Total Area: 43.77 km2
  • Average Property Price: £234,829
  • Average Rental Price: £1,176
  • Average Salary: £34,458

Peterborough is one of the cheapest commuter towns to live in, with an average property price of £234,829.

However, it is the farthest from London, with a distance of 100.6 miles. Driving to London can take 2 hours and 35 minutes or just 49 minutes by train.

It is a cathedral city nestled in the heart of Cambridgeshire in the eastern region of England.

Several hospitals are easily accessible here such as Peterborough City Hospital and Fitzwilliam Hospital.

It is home to several notable landmarks, including Sacrewell Heritage Farm and Country Centre, Flag Fen Archaeology Park, Kings Dyke Nature Reserve, Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery, and Inflata Nation Inflatable Theme Park Peterborough.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Choosing a place to live should be well-thought-off while considering your preferences and budget.

Finding the best commuter towns to London depends on your priority, whether you prefer the closest town or the most affordable one.

If you prefer a town with the cheapest housing options, you should consider Peterborough.

However, if you need a place within a few minutes’ reach from London, you might want to check out St Albans, Redhill, or Sevenoaks.

Nevertheless, most commuter towns near London are ideal thanks to the wide network of public transport in London.

If you prefer to drive, don’t forget to check the rules and regulations when driving in London.

For further reading, check our guides on London Bus, London Underground, London Overground, and DLR to assist you with your commute.

If you want to know the cost of your commute from any of your chosen commuter towns, check the Tube or train cost with London Fare Zones.

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